Agenus (AGEN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Agenus' collaboration agreements with players like Incyte and Merck not only validate its technology platforms but also provide it with funds. In fact, Agenus received a boost when Merck selected its lead antibody candidate and several backup antibodies for an undisclosed checkpoint target. We are encouraged by Agenus’ efforts in developing Prophage vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme. Further, recently, the company spun off its cell therapy businesses as a separate unit so that it can make smaller teams that can entirely focus on getting the products approved. However, Agenus’ heavy dependence on collaborators for its top-line growth remains a concern. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry year to date. Loss estimates have narrowed ahead of the Q4 earnings results.”

AGEN has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub downgraded Agenus from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, December 9th. ValuEngine downgraded Agenus from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Friday, December 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Agenus has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $5.81.

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) traded down $0.08 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $3.79. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,216,035 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,410,874. The firm has a market cap of $346.26, a price-to-earnings ratio of -3.24 and a beta of 2.11. Agenus has a 52-week low of $3.20 and a 52-week high of $5.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.39, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 1.55.

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.37) earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.37). The company had revenue of $3.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.91 million. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 24.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Agenus will post -1.16 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Garo H. Armen purchased 100,000 shares of Agenus stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $3.55 per share, for a total transaction of $355,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Karen Valentine sold 8,358 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.46, for a total value of $28,918.68. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 109,879 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $380,181.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 20,514 shares of company stock valued at $70,978 over the last 90 days. 7.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AGEN. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its position in shares of Agenus by 15.1% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 144,700 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $566,000 after acquiring an additional 19,000 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in shares of Agenus by 11.4% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 520,142 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,033,000 after acquiring an additional 53,343 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in shares of Agenus by 511.9% during the 3rd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 88,942 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $392,000 after acquiring an additional 74,407 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Agenus by 4.1% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 941,631 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $3,682,000 after acquiring an additional 37,239 shares during the period. Finally, Artal Group S.A. lifted its position in shares of Agenus by 25.0% during the 3rd quarter. Artal Group S.A. now owns 2,500,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $11,025,000 after acquiring an additional 500,000 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 37.87% of the company’s stock.

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About Agenus

Agenus Inc (Agenus) is an immuno-oncology (I-O) company. The Company focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is developing a I-O portfolio driven by platforms and programs, such as antibody discovery platforms, including Retrocyte Display, SECANT yeast display and phage display technologies designed to produce human antibodies; antibody candidate programs, including checkpoint modulator (CPM) programs; vaccine programs, including Prophage, AutoSynVax and PhosPhoSynVax, and saponin-based vaccine adjuvants, principally QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon).

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